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The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, awarded accredited status to the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County in May 2009.

“Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “The accreditation seal lets the public know that the accredited land trust has undergone an extensive, external review of the governance and management of its organization and the systems and policies it uses to protect land.”

“Our accredited status demonstrates to the landowners, donors, foundations and government partners we work with that they can rely on the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County to provide solid, lasting conservation projects,” said Executive Director Michael Feeney. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program.”

The local Land Trust has completed 35 land purchases and conservation easements since 1985, protecting nearly 22,000 acres of high quality wildlife habitat, ranch and farmland and community open space preserves.

Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 37 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

Accredited land trusts are able to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“We are proud to display the accreditation seal, for it’s a great honor to have our program receive this national recognition,” said Land Trust President Warren Miller. “The accreditation process was a challenging one, but the net result is that the policies and procedures we’ve put in place will make us a more effective, and credible, steward of the natural resources we are committed to protecting.”

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance established in 2006, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. The Alliance, of which the Land Trust for Santa Barbara County is a member, is a national conservation group based in Washington, D.C. that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America.

More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website. More information on the Alliance is available here.

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